Deadline Compression

Day 115 Week 17 Q2 Wednesday, April 24, 2024

An image depicting deadline compression as a race against time. Image 1 of 4

Did you ever notice that when you have a pile of deadlines after not having them for a while, you can suddenly switch to a super-effective mode? One where more can be done in an hour than you have been getting done in a day? It is astounding to me how much time we could spend thinking about doing something and not doing it when the actual completion of the project or task may take 1/10 the amount of time that we have spent thinking about it.

Time is truly nonlinear, and when you are moving at a rapid rate, you can cram more and more things into the same amount of time. I guess this is where the old adage comes from: “ If you need something done, give it to a busy person.” 

There’s no doubt that this is true. On the other hand, you cannot live your life like this all the time, always under stress and always under deadline, because then the deadline compression effect no longer persists. It just becomes your normal stressful life, and that is not good for longevity. In fact, it is not even good for good performance either. It’s a habit that people get into that is not particularly constructive.

Still, deadline compression is a very interesting phenomenon, where far more can be done than expected in a short period of time. Some days are more productive than some weeks, some hours are more productive than some days, and some minutes are more productive than some hours.  

It is quite possible to spend most of your time not doing anything, and then when everything is in alignment, everything gets done almost instantly. Perhaps this is similar to the phenomena where most of the things we see around us, most matter, are actually mostly space.

That is to say that the space between the particles of which we are all comprised is far more vest in the space taken up by the sparkles. We are mostly empty space, and I suspect most of our lives are comprised of empty time in the same way.

Neither space nor time are what they appear to be.

This means we have a lot more freedom than we think we do. Oh, I know everybody thinks that they’re always busy, every minute is full, and all of the space around them is filled with things, but these are both illusions to which, if you studied physics in college, you have already been exposed. And if you actually earned a degree in physics, some of these ideas hang around longer before they fade.

But once the thought has been thought, it cannot be unthought. Which means you could be reminded of what you once knew. That neither space nor time are the year or as concrete as you think they are, which means you have far more degrees of freedom than you realize most of the time.